The Tightening Of The Bottom
Meanwhile, Ray was in town and he, Tim and Jaime were ensconsed in Kemby's sinking a few preliminary beers and were joined in this endeavour by David a while later.
David had had the shock of hearing a voice like Noda's shouting at him from across the street just as he was about to barrel into Kemby's. Noda was not supposed to be there, but there he was... It turned out that Hide had called up Noda because nobody else was in Kodama when he and Kiyo arrived. Noda had said that he would not be playing that night, but returning home earlier than expected, he was able to respond to the call and join them for a game. Hence it was not the ghost of Noda, but the very devil himself who had yelled in such a disconcerting manner across the street.
Armed with the salutary knowledge that there were enough players at Kodama to play and not be put out by our not being there, the foreign contingent thought it not unmeet to extend their beer swilling by an hour or so. Not only would they be all the better for the swilling, but they would probably be able to set up shop on their own table, which would guarantee that at least one foreigner would win that evening!
Such is the poor form of the foreign contingent at present, and the overarching dominance of Mr Noda, that moral is rather low at present.
The ruse worked! Better still, the news was that Noda was losing!
When battle commenced on the foreigners' table two of the foreigners believed that the plan was that Ray, currently playing the role of Atlas, would not mind losing again since the bottom is the bottom. Unfortunately, Ray did not see things like that and had the temerity to win and close the gap as the other two foreigners sank a bit more into the mire.
So with the top player losing, and the bottom player winning, the gap, while still remaining absurdly HUGE, did not get any more absurdly hugerer.
Hide was the outright winner on the Japanese table, which puts him into second place above Satoru. That shows you how poor the form has been this year by all players except for Noda. Satoru popped in one evening a few months ago, played three games and was in second place until tonight.
Friday 17th October: Bottom Squeeze
The turning point of last week's game was Jaime's lengthy run as Oya, which wiped out most of Noda and Hide's losses and lasted about an hour - an hour during which David was able to sit on his moderate losses and feel good about it!
Jaime was top when David and Noda baled out. Kiyo was waiting for game so Jaime and Hide stayed... Hide then recovered and Jaime started trench digging and prepared for a war of attrition.
The result was that Noda, who came second, had extended his lead at the top. Hide lost ground but is still in second place. Kiyo dropped into the red, and something of a relegation battle is now under way at the bottom:
Nobuhiro 18 3 1 -334
David 91 2 3 -345
Jaime 92 5 3 -347
Ray 56 0 1 -377
Ah yes, the autumn term is here and the year end slide upon us!
What will tonight bring? Kenyon and Nobu are rumoured to be joining Noda and David tonight...
Jaime is unwell...